United Food Group, LLC has expanded a voluntary recall of beef suspected of containing E. coli bacteria. Initially, United Food Group pulled 75,000 pounds of beef from store shelves on June 3, 2007. By June 6, the recall was expanded to include an additional 370,000 pounds of beef distributed throughout the Western portion of the United States. The recall is a first for United Food Group, which has been in business for 30 years.
The strain of E. coli found is O157:H7. It was uncovered by testing done by health departments in California and Colorado, along with the Center for Disease Control, after illnesses by consumers sparked suspicion.
Those with chronic illnesses, young children, and the elderly are the most susceptible to bacteria. E. coli can cause cramps, diarrhea, dehydration, and in extreme cases, kidney failure and death. So far, illnesses have been reported in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming.
The beef was sold in the Western half of the United States through major grocery chains, including Sam’s Club. SUPERVALU, the parent company of Albertsons and Save-A-Lot stores, issued a statement on its website announcing a recall of the beef sold in ten states under the Moran label, as well as Albertsons fresh hamburger patties.
United Food Group pulled all of the products from store shelves, but it is concerned with packages that may be in consumer freezers. If you suspect that you purchased the tainted beef, check the packaging. United Food Group says that the labels are printed with the establishment number “EST. 1241” either on the inside of the USDA mark of inspection or on the package itself.
According to United Food Group, the beef was processed in its Vernon, CA plant on April 13, 2007, and April 20, 2007. Packages are marked with “sell by” and “freeze by” dates ranging from April 20, 2007 to May 7, 2007. A press release issued by United Food Group states that the tainted beef was labeled with the names: Moran’s All Natural, Miller Meat Company, Stater Bros., Inter-American Products, Inc., and Basha’s. The company does not have an operational website to post the recall information.
If you are a consumer and have questions, you may contact the customer service representative for United Food Group, James Turner, at 800-325-4164. Consumers who bought the meat may return it to the store where it was purchased for a full refund. Officials remind consumers that cooking beef to an internal temperature of 155 degrees Fahrenheit will kill bacteria, but those with concerns should contact United Food Group.
United Food Group, http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/070604/20070604006281.html?.v=1